The Army Weight Control Program for Females

By , January 4, 2010 7:33 am

Hubby’s on Day 4 of his weight loss challenge, a contest I was banned from entering for being “too skinny.” He and eight of our male and female friends started this pretty simple competition.  Each of them put $10 toward a prize pot, weighed themselves on the 1st, and whoever loses the highest percentage of total body weight by the end of the month wins the money.    The competitor in me was sad, but I’ll admit, despite my dad’s fervent warnings when I was a teenager, my eating habits still haven’t caught up with me.

My dad warned me of the Army weight standards when I was in college, but I’ve never been close to enrollment in the weight control program.  According to Army Regulation 600-9, The Army Weight Control Program, I can weigh up to 173 pounds at my current height and age.  If I weigh more than 173 pounds, I have to be taped or measured for my body fat percentage which, by the way, can be up to 34 percent.  The closest I’ve come to 173 pounds was when I was six months pregnant.

Every Army Physical Fitness Test I’ve taken concluded with the dreaded weigh-in.  Nothing pleasant about a company of men and women in their gym shorts, shirts, and sweaty socks standing in line behind a weight scale AFTER completing a workout.  I can still smell the rows of stinky shoes outside of the room.  I don’t have a lot of experience with the validity of the men’s weight standards in the Army, but I think the women’s standards are crap.  That’s right, I said crap.  Even in my best shape (think heavy muscle on my frame) benching my body weight, I never weighed more than 165 pounds.  It’s hard for me to believe that I could ever be a lean, mean, Army fighting machine with fat making up over 1/3 of my body composition.

I realize that my crazy metabolism gives me an advantage, but even my soldiers that struggled with their weight agreed that the standards are pretty lenient.  Trying to stay politically correct, a lot of male soldiers won’t speak publicly about the unequal standards.  Yes, I understand the physiologically women have a higher body fat percentage then men, but I think the current weight control program is easier on women then men when it comes to standards.  According to the chart, men, due to a lower weight requirement per their height/age, are more likely to be taped for body fat then women.

Comparing Hubby’s friends weight to the Army standard, the men aren’t within the standard, however, all of the women are in the standard.  If my civilian girlfriends have higher expectations for themselves than the Army has for its female soldiers, I think something needs to change.  No offense to my friends, but their main mission right now isn’t protecting our nation.  I’m proud of Hubby and my friends for wanting a healthier weight for their life.  I’m just hoping the Army will soon want that for their female soldiers.

© 2010, FROM MILITARY TO MOM. All rights reserved.

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4 Responses to “The Army Weight Control Program for Females”

  1. Sabrina says:

    I think that you’re being to narrow on how you’re looking at things. Ethnicity can play a role in things to. When I was in the Army fresh out of basic I weighed 145. I GAINED 10 pounds in basic yet was thinner around the waist than I was when I got there. In AIT, my weight, still 145 was considered 2 pounds overweight yet when they measured me for BMI, I was 24 which is considered healthy and is nowhere near the maximum, which is 30. I’m half black and am curvier in some places rather than others and that adds weight. 145 on me probably looks incredibly different than 145 on you. I wore a small-short uniform at that weight and was practically swimming in it. So weight isn’t everything. Matter-of-fact, it’s nothing. Different women carry weight COMPLETELY different and the same goes for men. (They often have a harder time meeting standards than women). Join for yourself, see how much weight you gain in muscle then see how you feel about the weight standards.

  2. Alyssa says:

    Thanks for the comment, Sabrina. I’m glad you agree with my point of this post, men do have a harder time meeting the standard than women. I think this is because women’s weight standards are more lenient in the Army. I’m not against the BMI system, just don’t like that the standards are weak for women. As I said in the post, I was in the best shape at my heaviest . Hope you will stop by again!

  3. Currently In says:

    The reason why the weight standards have been changed for woman is because some races have bones that are more dense than others. Also, African American women tend to have more shapely backsides, while hispanic woman tend to have ample bossoms. Did you know the average D cup breast is 8 pounds? I have 2 DDs..guess how much weight that is? I have never had an issue with my weight until I began to let the military cut on me. its not easy to pick up and run when you have been hacked in half, had a leg mutilated along with other things…but you know what, even coming of a 30 day conleave, the Army wanted me to get on the scale, knowing that I probably not only didn’t make any progress but have picked up weight because of my inability to work out. I get the Army standards and think they should be adhered to, but as far as fairness? Girl please, the men have it. I have to explain to my 1Sg every month why I only lost 3 pounds while just 20 mins ago, I came from a promotion ceremony of a male that looks like he is 6 months pregnant. Oh yea, his neck is big so he passes tape. The taping test is a crock. Until we get that right, everyone is getting messed over in the military.

  4. Alyssa says:

    Thanks for the comment, Jessica. Definitely gave me an idea of other issues with the height/weight system. Thanks for your service!

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